Conserving biodiversity can include restoring or enhancing a population or habitat. The local authority might think that you may have a need for care and support if: You tell them about it yourself. The Local Authority and the social worker would need to use their professional judgement to decide if they can safely facilitate contact in this way. For further updates from the judiciary visit judiciary.uk. However, during the current crisis it is likely that the word ‘safeguard’ will form the overriding basis when considering whether contact can be safely carried out. Contact could take place in the garden of the property if the parent or a connected person is able to gain access to it, without having to pass through the inside of the premises. Under section 17(1) Children’s Act 1989, a child is considered to be a child in need if: 1. The local authority is under a legal duty to assess you if: you're an adult, and; it appears that you may have a need for care and support. The amended s 34(1) now reads: But it is for the local authority to decide where to accommodate her/him. The s.2 duty is not confined to the local authority itself arranging preventative services. Section 17 states: "17. Children’s Services has a general duty to promote contact with wider family members such as grandparents and siblings. Key sections: Duties of the local authority; Maintained. ‘Reasonable’ is, by definition, a very vague word but clearly contact can only be reasonable if it meets the best interests of the children they have a duty to look after. The child in care may be able to have contact at the front door of the household they are living in. However, as Covid-19 and legislation surrounding it progresses and changes, there may be future legislation and guidance continuing to emerge in the near future. 11(1), (4)Duty to ensure that any placement outside the local authority area is approved by a nominated officer. Key sections: Duties of the local authority; Maintained. Paragraph 2.78 of 2015 Guidance[4] outlines  the presumption that there should be continued contact between the child and their family whilst the child is in the care of the Local Authority. When you are living away from home the local authority has a duty to promote contact between you and your parents and other members of your family like siblings and grandparents, so long as this is consistent with your welfare. If social workers believe they can effectively supervise contact from a distance, so as to ensure the parties are not ‘gathering’, there is a small possibility that open air contact could be carried out as the parent and child’s daily exercise. The amended s 34(1) now reads: 2. The local authority might think that you may have a need for care and support if: You tell them about it yourself. It is very unlikely that contact supervised by the Local Authority will remain unchanged.  If direct contact is possible and safe the frequency and duration are both likely to be reduced due to limited resources of supervising staff and venues.  Community contact will not be possible due to government guidelines and the fact that the sort of places where contact usually takes place are shut.  Strict measures will be in place to keep everyone safe. [1]https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/coronavirus.html, [2]https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0122/en/20122en.pdf, [3] any other person named in sections (b) – (e) of section 34(1) CA 1989, [4] The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations: Volume 2: Care planning, Placement and Case Review 2015. The Local Authority should rely on their professional judgement in deciding what action to take, taking into consideration the welfare of the child and the effect on the child of no contact. If the Local Authority is concerned that the child in their care would be at risk of coming into contact with a carrier of the virus, it would be arguable that such contact would not be consistent with the child’s welfare. As it stands the current laws, regulations and guidance provided is still in force and should be followed. 34 Parental contact etc. 5 C.F.R. 3. Recent developments have not led to a legal change in a Local Authority’s duty to safeguard and promote welfare and allow reasonable contact. Therefore, if the suspension of contact is based on the Local Authority’s fears of Covid-19, it is not advisable to rely on s34(6). The CMA has a statutory duty to “promote competition, both within and outside the UK, for the benefit of consumers”. When placement for adoption has been authorised for that child, the … Councils risk heavy costs from not taking steps to promote capacity ... a person’s lack of capacity as justification for making best interests decisions about them will trigger a reciprocal duty to take all reasonable steps to enhance that person’s capacity. S/h… 1.3 Charges for local authority public health functions These regulations also cover the making and recovery of charges in respect the exercise of local authorities’ public health functions. To support Scottish public authorities in meeting their equality duties, the Commission has produced non-statutory guidance which is available on our Scotland pages.The guides provide an overview of the public sector equality duty, including the general equality duty, the specific duties and who they apply to. Building capacity with partners to promote … of local government The LGA works with councils in England and Wales to support, promote and improve local government. S/he is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the help of the services by the local Authority 2. There must be some material change in circumstances between the making of the order and the application to discharge it[8]. Contact while in care Section 8 of the 2014 Act tidies up an inconsistency in the 1989 Act by inserting in s 34 a reference to a local authority's duty under s 22(3)(a), namely the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of any looked-after child. The Adoption and Children Act 2002, as fully implemented in September 2005, changed the law in relation to contact for some children in foster care. Staffordshire County Council do not have a blanket policy.  Each case will be considered separately.  Indirect contact by social media video calls will be preferred to direct contact where it is appropriate.  Obviously direct contact will not take place when either the parent, child or someone in their household has a diagnosis or suspected symptoms of Covid-19.  Similarly direct contact is unlikely if they fall into a vulnerable category and are self-isolating for 12 weeks.  This will cause particular issues as over 30% of Staffordshire foster carers are aged 65 or over. There are legal consequences for local authorities resulting from their corporate status. Local Authorities are under a duty to promote ‘reasonable’ contact between the children in their care and their parents. If any individual contracts the virus in a household of several people, other individuals must remain in isolation for 14 days[7]. The Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to promote and safeguard the welfare of children in need in their area. There are also resource implications at a time when many workers may be self-isolating and working from home, or absent through sickness. The 1988 Road Traffic Act puts a 'statutory duty' on the local authorities to deliver an appropriate road safety education service and for the provision of a safe local road network. Local authority social services. If the parents initially refuse to co-operate in using any alternative processes to facilitate contact, the Local Authority should consider first if the contact can be re-scheduled and whether any further provisions may be put in place. 7. At no point in recent history has there been a comprehensive list of legal duties placed on local authorities. Their functions are set out in numerous Acts of Parliament and many of these functions have associated legal duties. Such  an order may not be suitable where none of the relevant parties are showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms and have not had contact with any other person who is symptomatic. Where a child is in the care of the Local Authority, section 34(1)(a-e) and Schedule 2 paragraph 15 of the CA 1989 outlines the individuals that the Authority shall endeavour to promote contact with and allow the child reasonable contact with.Â. Due to the very real threat that Covid-19 poses on the public, it is arguable that the circumstances have already changed from what was the status-quo in England, before the virus was classed a ‘pandemic’. Fire services Local authorities operate fire services with the Department of Housing, Planning and Government playing an advisory and policy-making role. We all hope that this pandemic and health crisis comes to an end soon and contact arrangements can return to normal.  In the meantime all of us must do everything we can to keep everyone, especially the most vulnerable, safe and well. Any decisions to make a section 34(4) application should be carefully considered by the Local Authority. E+W (1) Where a child is in the care of a local authority, the authority shall (subject to the provisions of this section) [F1 and their duty under section 22(3)(a)] [F2 or, where the local authority is in Wales, under section 78(1)(a) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014] allow the child reasonable contact with— The Local Authority may also refuse to allow contact under section 34(4) CA 1989, whereby on an application, the Court may make an order authorising the Authority to refuse to allow contact between the child in care and any person mentioned in section 34(1)(a – d) and named in the order.  However, Thorpe J expressed in the case of Re S (Care: Parental Contact) [2005] 1 FLR 469, CA at [11], ‘a section 34(4) order should not be made… merely against the possibility that circumstances may change in such a way to make termination of contact desirable’. Under a Care Order (either an interim or final) the Local Authority shares parental responsibility for the child.  The paramount consideration of the Court in children matters is the welfare and safety of the child.  The Local Authority has a duty in law to promote contact if it is safe to do so. If the child in care, relevant parties, or any other individual living within the same household is symptomatic or has been in contact with another individual showing symptoms of the virus or the child is sick with something that might be the virus, then face to face contact should not take place.  Any refusal of contact under section 34(6) will only provide a temporary termination for seven days.  According to the current Government guidance, if an individual contracts the virus, they must self-isolate for seven days. The extension of the well-being power is … If the relevant parties have mobile phones or laptops that can accommodate either Facetime, Skype or other video-calling technology, this would allow the parties seeking contact to see and speak to the child. For example, our Map of Gaps enforcement work which focused on local authority service provision for women who have suffered violence under the previous gender equality duty. The Care Act 2014 - Local authorities have new duties for safeguarding vulnerable adults including lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system, find out what action is needs when they think adults are at risk, establish safeguarding adult boards, review, arrange independent advocate. April 7, 2020 / in Family Law, Frontpage Article, News / by Liberty Crawford. Seeking care and support services from a local authority may not pose problems, but … Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007 - This legislation places health promotion at the heart of a school's activities and details a number of duties on local authorities such as to promote school meals and consider sustainable development guidance when providing food and drink. NHS Trust 5. utility company 6. body carrying out functions of a public character un… (c) provides for the functions of local authorities in relation to the children they look after (sections 75 to 103, 124 and 125) (d) provides for the circumstances in which local authorities may or must provide support for young people leaving, or who have left, local authority care formerly accommodated in certain establishments For a useful introduction to the ECHR see this infographic from Rights Info which discusses the basic structure of the European Court, who it protects and why it matters. [This is very rare.] Generally, personal activities should not be conducted during duty hours. Whilst guidance has been issued concerning private law cases and children moving between households, that guidance does not assist in this instance. Legislation and guidance. Local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area. By offering and facilitating alternative methods of contacts, such a video-calling and letters, the Local Authority will not be in breach of their duties to their staff and under the Children Act 1989 to promote and facilitate contact. When placement for adoption has been authorised for that child, the legal duty to promote contact under section 34 CA 1989 will not apply. (9) Where a local authority are conducting enquiries under this section, it shall be the duty of any person mentioned in subsection (11) to assist them with those enquiries (in particular by providing relevant information and advice) if called upon by the authority to do so. Using the equality duty to challenge the priorities of public bodies. An analysis of the Court of Appeal decision in RE W (CHILDREN) (2012) [2012] EWCA Civ 999 I have written about intractable and long-running contact disputes before on this blog, and no doubt I will again. This practice note explains these consequences and deals with the main issue arising out of statutory creations; the ultra vires doctrine. The current restrictions on movement have been scheduled to last for three weeks, however, there are fears that such restrictions will continue for longer than initially presumed. ‘Proportionality’ is the key concept to understanding how family law operates. Local Authority’s duty to promote contact between a child in their care and relevant parties under section 34 of the Children Act 1989: Covid-19 Guidance. This includes road construction, accident investigation and analysis, traffic calming, setting speed limits and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Open air contact, e.g. Local Authorities can refuse to allow contact without making an application to the Court under section 34(6) CA 1989. Social workers will no longer have a duty to promote contact between birth parents and children in care under new measures in the children and families bill, which was laid before parliament this week. If direct contact cannot take place, there should be indirect contact by whatever means is suitable, and parents should be kept informed how their child is.  Social Services and also solicitors’ offices are running on skeleton staff and may be closed to the public.  It may take longer than usual for your queries to be answered. The Children’s Act 1989 gives the local authorities the powers and duties to act on behalf of the protection of vulnerable children and to provide, safe protection and care wherever possible. Care plans and looked after child reviews The way in which we fulfil this duty is by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children's assessed needs (Section 17, Children Act 1989). In removing the option of face to face contact, the Local Authority would need to be prepared to deal with more applications for mother and baby placements for very young children. Arguably the case of keeping a mother and baby/toddler together would be strengthened if the alternative was no in-person contact whatsoever. Local Authority’s duty to promote contact between a child in their care and relevant parties under section 34 of the Children Act 1989: Covid-19 Guidance. If the parents either continue to refuse to co-operate, or having attempted to facilitate contact using alternative processes they have not been effective, the Local Authority will need to make an application to the Court under section 34(4) or apply s34(6) CA 1989 to suspend contact. However, the Local Authority is only under a duty to promote contact between the child and the parents and/or connected persons, ‘unless it is not reasonably practicable or consistent with his welfare’[6]. For example, paragraph 2.92 of the 2015 Guidance provides that meaningful contact can also be achieved through indirect means such as ‘letters, telephone calls and exchange of photographs  and paragraph 2.94 encourages the use of modern technology in order to maintain contact. The Local Authority has a duty in law to promote contact if it is safe to do so. This is the default position in the absence of any court orders. Local Authority Social Services have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk. All parties should refrain from unnecessary exposure where possible. 1 Local authorities’ statutory public health responsibilities 3 1.1 Duty to improve public health 3 1.2 Regulations on the exercise of local authority public health functions 4 1.3 Charges for local authority public health functions 5 1.4 Duties of directors of public health 5 [6] Schedule 2 paragraph 15(1) of the Children Act 1989, [7] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection, [8] Re T (Termination of Contact: Discharge of Order) [1997] 1 FLR  517, CA at [526], [9]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874742/Full_guidance_on_staying_at_home_and_away_from_others__1_.pdf. area of the authority. Instead social workers will be obliged to ensure contact arrangements have “clear purpose”, as set out in the child’s care plan. There is no express wording within section 34 that states that the Local Authority must promote contact through face-to-face meetings. Provision of services for children in need, their families and others Section 17(1) states that it shall be the general duty of every local authority: The recently passed Coronavirus Bill and corresponding Guidance is unfortunately silent as to any relaxation of a Local Authority’s statutory duty under the Children Act 1989 to promote contact between a child in care and any relevant party as per section 34 and Schedule 2 … Download a number of safeguarding adults resources including reports and reviews. In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak (‘Covid-19’), there has been little guidance as to whether Local Authorities have the ability to suspend contact between a child in their care and parties who have a right to contact with that child, either by parental responsibility or by a Court order. E+W (1) It shall be the general duty of every local authority (in addition to the other duties imposed on them by this Part)— (a) to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need; and (b) so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, The local authority has a duty to ascertain a child in need's wishes and feelings regarding the accommodation and to give consideration to them. Care and Support functions undertaken and decisions made in this situation are unlawful and subject to legal challenge. There is no further clarification of the definition of ‘contact’ within section 34, as such, there is room for interpretation as to what can amount to sufficient contact. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parent’s homes.[10]. The principles can be stated broadly as follows. 6.55 The local authority must supervise a welfare guardian and your supervision will take the form of regular meetings, reporting arrangements, and visits both with and without warning to yourself and the adult. However, the local authority also has a responsibility at any time to give you advice and guidance on the exercise of your welfare powers. Under section 10 of the same Act, the local authority is under a duty to make arrangements to promote co- In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak (‘Covid-19’), there has been little guidance as to whether Local Authorities have the ability to suspend contact between a … The consequence is not only that the relevant parties could contract the virus themselves, but also that they could pass it on, putting others surrounding the parties at an unnecessary risk. Local Authority’s duty to promote contact between a child in their care and relevant parties under section 34 of the Children Act 1989: Covid-19 Guidance. These duties placed on the local authority can only be discharged with the full co-operation of other partners , many of whom have individual duties when carrying out their functions under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (see chapter 2). ( ECHR ) public authority in England you have a responsibility to maintain contact with children adults... 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